This is the first time these telescopes have been used to observe the same celestial target, and their collaboration is already helping to shed light on how this historic mission unfolded.
On Monday, an unmanned spacecraft collided with the asteroid Dimorphos, a small body just 160 meters in diameter that orbits a larger, 780-meter asteroid called Didymos.
The purpose of the mission is to find out if it is possible to change the course of an asteroid if it is hypothetically heading towards Earth. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, the mission was “an unprecedented success for planetary defense.”
The collision caused a real explosion. Brand new images from Hubble and JWST show that the collision resulted in a significant burst of flying debris.
Scientists have noticed that it seems that some of the rays emanating from the asteroid look slightly curved. Hubble observations also show that Didymos tripled in brightness after the impact.
JWST and Hubble will monitor Dimorphos at least 10 times over the next three weeks.
But that’s not all. In October 2024, the ESA Hera mission is due to launch and conduct a detailed post-impact study of Dimorphos to study its effects and determine the asteroid’s deflection.
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